Lot 27: Scarce Document Signed by Texas Revolutionary Benjamin R. Milam
26th April 2018
Very rare document signed by Benjamin Rush Milam, granting citizenship into Milam's Red River Colony. Dated 19 January 1831, Milam signs this document nearly five years before he would be killed in the Siege of Bexar during the Texas Revolution, as he called to his fellow compatriots: ''Who will go with old Ben Milam into San Antonio?'' Founded by Milam and Arturo G. Wavell in 1826, the Red River Colony was an effort by the men to settle land in present-day northeast Texas along the Red River under the Colonization Law of March 24, 1825. The Mexican law was passed to encourage Texas settlement by offering 4,000 acres of land for farming and ranching with the caveats that the colonists abide by Mexican law, worship as Catholics, and demonstrate good moral conduct. Milam and Wavell applied for a land grant from the vice governor of Coahuila y Texas, who approved the request in 1826, giving the entrepreneurs six years to form the Colony. Partially-printed document ''No. 95'' lists Milam and Wavell's names in print, translated in part, ''...For the years one thousand eight hundred twenty-six and eight hundred twenty-seven [handwritten numbers of 28, 29, 30, 31 added]...The Citizen Benjamin R. Milam, agent for the Citizen Arturo G. Wavell, businessman, introduce foreign emigrants into the Colony...I certify that he and heirs of Jose Janes[?] are one of the settlers, introduced into the said colony, by virtue of said contract, possessing the qualities prescribed by the Colonization Law of March 24, 1825 - which are and consist of his family of Ten people. I hereby certify the said heirs of Jose Janes as proof that he enters into said contract and that he is therefore entitled to the portion of land designated by said Colonization Act of March 24, 1825...in said Colony of Arturo G. Wavell...I sign this as proxy of the said businessman Arturo G. Wavell - Given in my office inside the Colony of Wavell on the 19th, of the month of January, 1831...'' Signed ''Ben. R. Milam''. Single page document measures 8.25'' x 11.25''. Paper loss at bottom of approximately 3'' x 1.25, light wear and toning. Mounting remnants and archival tape repair to verso. Overall in good to very good condition. One of less than a handful of documents signed by Milam known to exist, and the only known document granting citizenship in his Red River Colony.
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